Gabriella Marzetta has always been a storyteller. Like many tweens, she found herself creating life stories on “The Sims” and with Barbie dolls, as well as creating living room music videos to share with her abundance of fans in her home. Her infatuation with the stage, however, only came after some bribery. If her father had not convinced her to perform with a “Scooby-Doo” Daphne Barbie doll at 10 years old, Marzetta may not have ever taken the Morrison Center stage, much less been such a crucial piece of the “Waitress” opening night success.
Marzetta plays Dawn, a supporting character in the musical; Marzetta, however, made the show’s biggest impact.
Despite not being the show’s central role, Dawn’s evolution from insecure to pure joy is a relatable one from a storytelling perspective. Dawn is meant to be awkward and, while that trait does shine through, Marzetta makes her charming and likable, too. Marzetta clearly lives in Dawn’s mind on stage and the results are beautiful; add in the phenomenal vocals on “When He Sees Me,” a standout rendition of the song’s many recordings, and you have the perfect recipe for Dawn.
In short, Marzetta delivers.
As for the lead, there have been a number of notable stars to play the cherished role of Jenna, from Jessie Mueller to Katharine McPhee to the show’s music and lyrical genius, Sara Bareilles, herself. In short, Jenna has big shoes to fill. Bailey McCall took the challenge in stride, bringing a twangy, Southern charm to the character that felt like home. If Jenna has baked a beautiful pie before, Boise — or this tour, in general — was gifted the most unique one.
The other supporting cast was no less amazing. Kennedy Salters as Becky and Brian Lund as Ogie were both thrilling to watch perform, and David Socolar as Dr. Pomatter drew the audience in almost as magnetically as he did Jenna. There was no shortage of star power in “Waitress,” a feat for which the show’s entire production should be proud.
“Waitress” felt youthful and exciting, whether watching Jenna or Dawn or Becky find happiness scene by scene. Neither the story nor the cast ever takes themselves too seriously, which is a magical trait for a script as humorous at this one. Audiences for future shows on the tour can rest assured that not only does the tour do the show justice, but “Waitress” is no less enticing on a local stage than it would be in the Broadway lights.
In 2007, Adrienne Shelly first brought Jenna’s story to life on the small screen with the film “Waitress.” 12 years later, the musical’s first preview in Boise reminds us that the charm of the original is still very much alive.
Although the run of “Waitress” has come and gone, let its success be a message to visit other Broadway in Boise shows this season. The next show in the series is “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” which arrives at the Morrison Center on Nov. 22 through Nov. 24.